Faculty of Arts


Directing Performance for Screen

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for SCREEN 303.


A study of working methods for directing performance of actors for screen. The course will consist of workshops, lectures, exercises, rehearsals, and live performance. It will provide training through experiential collaboration with students alternately filling the roles of both ‘actor’ and ‘director’ on a variety of assessed projects and staged scenes. Techniques and practice will familiarise students with the acting and blocking processes and build confidence needed for directing.

This is course is designed to equip students with the techniques necessary for working with performers for screen through practice on both sides of the camera.

Students will actively engage in the creative process and give and receive constructive criticism. This is an intensive studio course and will require work outside of regular class time (including casting/auditioning for your projects). This out-of-class commitment is not optional and will be required to complete the projects and exercises assigned.

Disclaimer - This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the professor contingent upon performance and overall class progress and special events.

Course Objectives

Successful completion of the course should provide students with information on how to:

  • Communicate to actors in simple and direct ways
  • Use specificity in giving directions to actors
  • Create different genres through their actors’ performances
  • Create mood, tone, subtext and texture through the performances of their actors
  • Develop a working vocabulary of acting terminology
  • Provide methodology for working with actors during casting, rehearsal and shooting
  • Communicate with actors in a real world situation

and should give students:

  • Opportunity to demonstrate effectiveness as a director through exercises with actors
  • Exposure to various modes of address, narrative and structure

and should:

  • Inculcate professional aspects of directing. This includes making and keeping deadlines and consistency, presentation and standardisation of format; analysing scripts, providing constructive critiques of peer-work

Class limits information for 2020: Enrolment is limited to 20 students. Students must have successfully completed both SCREEN 200 and 201. This class has limited places in order to allow for adequate attention to each student. It is workshop based with project based writing/reading/making. As part of the SCREEN Stage III program it must align with attendance in other courses to maintain parity and student scheduling. Selection will also be made based on the application form in which students rank their preferences.


Coursework only

View the course syllabus

Availability 2020

Semester 1


Coordinator(s)  Jake Mahaffy


Recommended Reading


SCREEN 303: 15.0 points


SCREEN 200, 201 and approval of Academic Head or nominee



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